Each January, we love to set resolutions. We painstakingly choose a lofty goal or two and optimistically embark, declaring, “this will be THE year for change!”.
Unfortunately, we often lose steam and quickly return to what is comfortable. For lack of a better term, we fail. We fail to change our approach and to reach our goals.The same concept often applies to business. Annually, we gather our management team and create a budget with ambitious financial goals for the upcoming year. Falling short is commonly due to poor planning or lack of change. We go back to business as usual, hoping to reach our goals next year.
But what if there was an easy way to overcome the ‘same old, same old’ attitude towards budgeting, and actually transform your budget into results?
This New Year’s Resolution: Change Your Approach
This year, challenge yourself to go beyond budgeting by implementing a Playbook. A playbook is an action plan for reaching your budget targets.
It answers some simple-yet-important questions:
- WHAT, specifically, are we trying to achieve?
- HOW will we get there?
- WHO will be involved?
- WHEN will we do it?
Ready, Set, Execute: Get RESULTS in 7 Easy Steps
Then, follow these simple steps to create a playbook (or improve the one you have) and reach your budget targets:
Rally the troops
Bring your management team together to get on the same page. Identify your ‘big goal’ for the new year (e.g., increase earnings by 10%) and commit, as a group, to achieving it.
Evaluate budget targets
Identify 2 or 3 top priority objectives with targets you must achieve to hit your big goal (e.g., to increase earnings by 10%, we need to Grow Ag Loans by $20MM and Increase Market Share by 3%)
Select action items
Decide what actions you’ll take to accomplish your objectives. These are the ‘how-tos’ of your plan (e.g., to Grow Ag Loans, we’ll launch our new Ag product in Q1; to increase market share throughout the year, we’ll offer incentives for new customers in Q2, Q3, and Q4).
Unify your team
Capitalize on the individual strengths of each of your staff. First, chart out who will do what and when. Assign someone to oversee each action item and keep it on track.
Leverage a tool
The easiest way to gather and share results is by using a cloud-based program. This gives you a chance to resolve any issues before your plan gets derailed. You’ll be able to track and communicate progress quickly, visually, and virtually!
For example, Plansmith's Budget Playbook is an affordable online tool that helps you easily and effectively manage your organization’s action plans. Click here to learn more.
Talk as a group
Continually work as a team and meet regularly so everyone knows where you are and where to go next. Experiencing successes? Celebrate them. Running into roadblocks? Brainstorm ways to change course. Answer these questions: WHY did we miss our targets? WHERE will we go from here? Just as a budget should be built by a team, it should also be executed as a team.
Stay focused on the process
Planning takes time, and so does execution! Don’t expect unprecedented results overnight. By changing your approach, staying true to the process, and chipping away at the action items in your playbook, targets become attainable and success becomes inevitable.
We’re here to help you get the RESULTS you want in 2022 and beyond. Click here to schedule a discussion to get started.
Happy New Year!